Here’s what you need to know about Saturday’s NHL action.
Essential Water Cooler
James Reimer allowed four goals on 21 shots Saturday (including two in a 15-second stretch midway through regulation time) and got the hook in favor of Jonathan Bernier in Toronto’s 5-4 shootout win over Ottawa. Reimer certainly wasn’t helped by a Leafs defense corps that bordered on abominable (particularly the pairing of Cody Franson and rookie Morgan Rielly, who combined for a minus-6), but an .810 save percentage isn’t going to cut it – especially when Bernier came in and was perfect (no goals on 15 shots) while giving Toronto its first shootout win since the 2011-12 campaign. Reimer won’t become the permanent backup after just one bad outing, but he can’t afford the optics of getting hooked too many more times without serious repercussion.
Mason Raymond’s shootout goal was the type of spin-o-rama shot that has caused controversy in NHL circles in recent seasons and it did so again Saturday in Toronto. The winger broke in on the left side of Sens goalie Craig Anderson, began to stop on Anderson’s right and swiveled around to put the puck past him with a sweeping backhanded shot. “I think it’s a very unfair play for the goaltender for the guy to come in and blow snow on him,” Sens coach Paul MacLean told NHL.com after the game. “To me he came to a full stop and the puck went backwards and came forwards, but that’s me. I’m only a fisherman from Nova Scotia, so I don’t know nothin’ about nothin’.”
Men of the Night
Mason Raymond – Former Canucks winger’s torrid start continued in his third game as a Leaf, as he netted the game’s first goal, added two assists and scored in the shootout in Toronto’s win. Raymond has 2 goals and 4 points this year and has found a fit playing on the Leafs’ third line with Dave Bolland and Troy Bodie.
Tomas Hertl – Rookie center scored his first two NHL goals to power his Sharks to a 4-1 win over Phoenix.
Jaroslav Halak – Set a new Blues franchise record for most shutouts with his 17th in St. Louis, passing Glenn Hall while leading them to a 7-0 beating of the Panthers.
Carey Price – Canadiens goalie stopped all but one of the 23 Flyers shots he faced for a .957 save percentage in Montreal’s 4-1 win over Philly.
Henrik Sedin – Veteran Canucks center amassed three assists and combined with brother Daniel for five points in Vancouver’s 6-2 rout of the Oilers.
Ben Bishop – Bolts goalie kept his team in the game with 37 regulation-time saves and held the fort in the shootout to give Tampa Bay a come-from-behind, 3-2 win over the defending-champion Blackhawks.
Zdeno Chara – Bruins captain logged 22:23 of ice time and scored a goal in Boston’s 4-1 win over Detroit.
Sidney Crosby – Pens star scored his second goal of the season to lead Pittsburgh to a 4-1 victory over Buffalo.
Sergei Bobrovsky – Jackets goalie posted a .933 SP after a poor first start of the season in Columbus’ 3-2 shootout win over the Isles.
Kari Lehtonen – Stars secured their first win of the season thanks in part to Lehtonen’s 25-save performance in a 2-1 victory over Washington.
Mathieu Perreault – New Ducks center scored overtime winner, added an assist in Anaheim’s 4-3 win over the Wild.
Better Luck Next Time
Tim Thomas got his first win Oct. 3 after a year’s absence from the NHL, but his second game wasn’t nearly so memorable. The veteran goalie allowed five goals on 28 shots (.821 SP) and was removed from Saturday’s game as his Panthers were shellacked by the Blues. The 39-year-old’s goals-against average now stands at 4.20; a few more of these types of showings and Florida management may choose to let backup Jacob Markstrom run with the starter’s role for a stretch.